Scenes From a Marriage #6

Husband wanders through the living room on his way out to the garage. Wife, watching tv.

SHE:  Damn!
HE:  What?
SHE:  I just wanted to relax for a bit, but everything is in commercial!
HE:  I think they time it that way on purpose.
SHE:  Thank god for the shopping channels.
HE (blinking):  The shopping channels?
SHE:  Yes. They’re almost never in commercial.
HE:  Ummm…they’re shopping channels.
SHE:  What’s your point?
HE:  Well, I mean, aren’t they always trying to sell you something? So aren’t they, by definition, always “in commercial”?
SHE (frostily):  It’s not the same thing at all.
HE:  It isn’t?
SHE:  No! They’re making things available that might interest me. There are things there that I usually don’t see elsewhere. Besides—it’s shopping!
HE (and you just knew he was going to, didn’t you?):  But it’s buying things you found out about on tv! How is that not a commercial?
SHE:  You’re such a … man! Aand you don’t understand anything!
HE: …..

(And everything goes downhill from there.)

MUSE (Still dressed like a rocker chick. Interrupting): Liar.
HE: Wait a minute. How did you get in here?
MUSE: I’m always here, you twit.
HE: Oh, right. I forgot.
MUSE: “You forgot”? And I suppose you also forgot just how long you’ve been married?
HE: No, I haven’t.
MUSE:  How long, then?
HE (sighs): Thirty-five years.
MUSE: Right, then. So tell them what really happened.
HE: Okay, fine. We’ll pick it up from about here….

SHE: Thank god for the shopping channels.
HE (blinking): The shopping channels?
SHE: Yes. They’re almost never in commercial.
HE: Right… I’m going out into the garage now. I’ve got to sand something.
SHE: Okay. Love you.
HE: Love you too.  (exeunts)

You want to know how to stay married for thirty-five years? Sure, open communication is crucial, but sometimes what’s even more crucial is knowing when to STFU.

Scenes From a Marriage #5

Mrs. Ogre comes home to find me having a philosophical disagreement with the radio.

She: Who were you talking to?

Me: A comic on the radio. I had a disagreement with something I heard.

She: He can’t hear you. Besides, why listen to the comedy channel if you’re going to get upset?

Me: I always listen to the comedy channels when I’m balancing the checkbook. It helps.

She: Helps how?

Me: Reminds me that there is, somewhere, some joy in the world.

She: Just not in our finances. I did notice that you are not smiling.

Me: Not smiling, no.

She: Then it’s not working, is it?

Me: Sure it is.

She: How?

Me: The checkbook balanced.

She: Wouldn’t it have done that no matter what you were listening to?

Me: Sure.

She: Then why comedy?

Me: I said it would have balanced either way, but comedy is what tells me to believe it when it happens.

Scenes From a Marriage #4

Tax Time. The library undergoes its annual transformation from library/office to office/office. The computer is showing spreadsheets, not manuscripts or YouTube. Papers are being collected. It is during this “discovery phase” that a Certain Object arises to the light of day.

She: What is this?

Me: Ummmm…candy?
She (holding up Certain Object): Candy? CANDY??? This is CHOCOLATE.

Me: You’re right. Did you find the receipt for the ink while you were—

She: Don’t change the subject!

Me (frowning): I thought the subject was taxes.

She: The trivial stuff can wait. We’re dealing with this now.

Continue reading

Scenes From a Marriage #3

Me: I’m home!
She: Good. I finished painting the bathroom cabinet doors this afternoon. Can you put them back up for me?
Me: Okay.
(Note: Small bathroom. Room for me and the stepladder. No one else. Leftmost door hinges are two inches from the wall. Tricky. I shut the door because otherwise I can’t reach the cabinets)
Me: (grunting incoherently as I wrestle the first door into place)
She: (on the other side of the door) Can I help?
Me: Not unless you can reach through walls.
She: Ha ha.
Me: (More incoherent grunting.)
She: I’ve been thinking about the two shower curtains, trying to decide. Remember?
Me: (Grunt, wrestle, trying to think also) Umm… The owl and the bird?
She: Yeah. I’m leaning toward the owl.
Me: (dangerously leaning toward falling). Uh huh.
She: What do you think?
Me: (Now an incoherent mumble, because I’m trying to hold wood screws in my mouth while lining up one hinge).
She: What was that?
Me: (Thinking that this isn’t a good time to be discussing decor, keeping such thoughts to myself). Continue reading